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The GCA’s 2021 Photography Conference Goes Virtual


January 26, 2021

“Focus on Photography - Imagine the Possibilities!” Showcases the Power of the Lens

Following in the footsteps of two previous virtual conferences, the Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference and Conservation Study Conference, the GCA’s 2021 Photography Conference “Focus on Photography - Imagine the Possibilities!” brought club members together for a unique opportunity to explore the power of the lens.

The one-day event featured professional photographers as well as GCA photography judges, each lending their creative expertise. During the morning session, club members experienced the beauty of the Great Plains through conservation photographer, author, and 2020 recipient of the GCA’s J. Sherwood Chalmers Medal, Michael Forsberg’s presentation “Finding Home in Flyover Country – A Photographer’s Journey.” Hundreds of participants commented on the power of Michael Forsberg’s presentation, including this club member: “I’m humbled by your commitment and dedication to preserving your homeland for next generations. Gives a purpose to what we might accomplish with the photography skills that we’re all learning.”

Photographer and poet Sal Taylor Kydd’s presentation “Nature’s Solace” focused on how book arts, poetry, and photography can combine to create a meaningful personal project. The morning session concluded with “Creating Painterly Effects on Your Smartphone or Tablet” presented by digital artist and approved GCA Photography Judge Laura Simpson.

The afternoon session provided insight into the joys of nature photography with photographer, teacher, and storyteller Eddie Soloway's presentation “Eyes Wide Open: The Joy of Nature Photography.” Digital artist and prospective GCA Photography Judge Yoni Mayeri used her presentation “Take Your Images to the Next Level on Your Mobile Device with the Snapseed App” to show club members the possibilities of Snapseed. “Gardens of Paradise: A Brief Look at Photo Compositing”  presented by digital artist and approved GCA Photography Judge Ryn Clarke explored the possibilities of using photo compositing in creating images.

The conference ended with a toast to the GCA club members and talented photographers who brought photography into the GCA fold. The photography conference was an enthusiastic success with one club member commenting, “I hope this is only the beginning of many years of quality photography conferences.”

The GCA made a rapid pivot beginning in late spring 2020 from destination-based, in-person events to virtual gatherings. Teams of volunteers have been engaged in learning strategies for creating and presenting educational content for member clubs in this new and exciting way. 

Upcoming GCA virtual conferences will provide focus on floral design, national affairs and legislation, and the organization’s annual meeting.



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